Stephan J. Hahn

Father by Day. Author by Night.

The Four Elven Factions

For hundreds of years Elthiol and Aerian ruled the elves from their palace in Dendrelfin. There came a time where the ways and means of the elves began to differ. Before long the city was slowly split into several different factions who began to grow tired of the forest life, and longed to be closer to the callings of their hearts. The elves that remained in the forest were known ever after as the green elves. They loved the woodlands and the trees, and they were the largest and strongest of all the elven clans. They could be identified by their forest green clothing, and were impossible to be taken at unawares. They were well versed in the lore of the woodlands and were friends to all birds and animals of the forest. 

The blue elves or the elves of the sea were masters of the waters. Upon leaving Dendrelfin, they soon became friends with the nymphs of Niadia in the south, for they shared the same love of water. Their raiment was light blue, and they took their people and withdrew from Dendrel Forest, and settled far in the east by the firth of the River Ost. Along the eastern coast, they sailed up and down, looking for new lands and wider seas. Many times, they would venture further to the east into the vast unknown sea, seeking for legends of other countries and peoples. They were great voyagers and new every inch of the coast and could sail the waters better than any other race. 

The grey elves or the dark elves were great friends of the dwarves before their extinction. They wore dark grey cloaks and were well versed in stonework and masonry, which they learned deep in the mountains by the teachings of the dwarves. When the dwarf kingdoms fell they were consumed with sadness and they left Dendrel. Because their calling was the mountains, yet their hearts mourned, they settled in The Harrows, which lie at the foot of the oldest mountains in Runa. In this dark forest, they continued their work, and shut out everything from their life before. They shunned the light, and only trusted themselves. Working in the shadow of the mountains, they brooded in the dark and to this day, there is a dark evil in that forest, and few go there save in great need. 

Lastly, there are the red elves, or mercenary elves. These were the outcasts, and accursed. They clothed themselves in dark maroon, and they trusted no other faction or race. Many prisoners and criminals were not kept behind wall of stone for fear of disrupting the forest but were banished from Dendrel. As time moved on, they began to gather together. They moved throughout Runa doing work for those who would pay the highest price. They loathed the forest, and Dendrelfin, but called it home due to its central location to Runa. 

The Five Reasons Why I Write 

I keep stumbling across articles about the best reasons why you should write. Articles and blogs like Top Ten Reasons to Become an Author, and What Not to Write About. Now, this bothers be in more ways than one, because there is only one person in this world who knows you well enough to decide the best course of action: YOU. I find it hard to believe that other people’s advice is being taken over that of your own. The truth of the matter is that you alone can decide what you want to get out of your writing. 

I have decided to put together a list of the best reasons why I write. Why? There are too many conflicting ideas when it comes to writing. If you are going to take the advice of another author, then it must be objective and focus on writing as the verb and not as the noun. People continuously confuse writing as a pleasure and writing as a career. If you have traditionally or self-published a book, you have a writing career. If you keep your writing locked in a safe and it never sees the light of day, then you are writing for pleasure. 

I see far too many authors talk about how if you are writing for the money, then you shouldn’t be writing at all. I would like to point out the paragraph above. If you put a book on sale and begin to see income from it, then you are writing for the money. Even if it is only one single book. I mean let’s be real for a moment, if it was just because you enjoyed doing it, then you wouldn’t go to all the trouble of getting it published, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just imagine an architect or an accountant who refused to get paid for their services because they were doing it for fun. It doesn’t work like that, and neither does writing as a career. 

Gracefully steps down from soap box

Without further ado, I give you my top five reasons why I write: 

1. Escape Reality 

This one is one of the more obvious ones so I chose to start with it. It will depend on what genre you are writing, but in the long run it means the same thing. I write fantasy, because of the worlds I create, and the characters I describe, I am able to somehow escape reality. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have a great wife and amazing children, but when you can create a world, and immerse yourself into it, some amazing things can happen. Don’t let your imagination erode away without letting it stretch its legs and breathe the fresh air. 

2. It Was This Or Piano 

I firmly believe that for the most part, people need an outlet. Some people play piano, and guitar, while others build birdhouses and fix cars. Not that I find the world of automotive repair dull or birdhouse building particularly boring, I just chose writing as my hobby. I think that if you are looking for an outlet, then it needs to be something you really enjoy doing. For me writing is that outlet, and I love to be able to spend time in it. Maybe not as much as I would like to, but I also have three children, who seem to suck time right out of reality. 

3. Tell Your Story 

We all have a story. A life that sometimes peeks out of the shadows long enough to want to be seen by the rest of the world. This was the main reason why I wrote A Father’s Guide. Was it an all-inclusive parenting guide? Nope. And that was not the intention. I kept thinking about all of the funny and interesting things that my children did, and I thought that I could share that with the rest of the world. The parenting book was just the car that drove it there. Your story doesn’t need to be the greatest thing in the world, just great to you, and worth sharing. 

4. Share Your Passion

If you have a passion, and I am not talking about enjoyment, I am talking about a passion for creating something, then why not share that with the world? My mind begins to wonder away from writing, and onto other things. What would music be like today, if the Beatles never made a record, or if Slash never picked up a guitar? What about if George Washington was comfortable with British rule or Thomas Edison didn’t have a knack for inventing things, what would things look like today? The world would go on, but would it really be the same world? You will never know what kind of difference your passion can make until you put it out there. 

5. Legacy

This one is here, but not for the reasons you may expect. I don’t need to have my name on the most influential person list or win a Nobel Peace Prize. What I do want to do is leave my mark on the world in at least some small way. It is no different from finishing college or landing that big promotion. For me it is my children. I want them to grow up and see the things I have accomplished and be motivated by them. In fact, I’ll go up one more level. I want them to see the things I have done, shrug, and say they will do better. If there is one thing I would strive to do is to put my children in a better place than I am now. 

These are the reasons that I write. Maybe we share the same ones, and maybe yours are completely different. The most important thing about having a reason to write is not the specific reason; it’s that you have one in the first place. What are the reasons why you write? 

The City of Niadia

It is told in the histories of Runa, how Ilistri washed up on the shores of Niadia in the aftermath of the Great Iad War. Cut off from the rest of her people by a company of the Dryad horsemen she found herself and a few of her party at the edge of the sea. They were far outnumbered and were able to find a boat and row away before they were assailed. There was a storm brewing out in the sea, but they had no other choice besides facing the longswords of the horsemen. Nymphs were masters of the waters and the sea, but the small boat they rowed was no match for the bitter waves which tossed the boat around effortlessly. 

Before long the boat was smashed to pieces and all of her company lost. After a few days Ilistri alone found herself waking on the southern shores of Runa. Ilistri was in awe of the mighty cove she found herself in. The sheer walls of the cliffs dropped hundreds of feet into the bay. She climbed to the very top and surveyed the land around her, which stretch as far as she could see. It was green and lush, with many rivers and animals. It was far from the Dryad stronghold of Hylos on the western shores and had a certain magical feeling to it. It was there upon the cliff edge that Ilistri had a vision. She saw a mighty palace upon the highest of the cliffs, and a city, built into the cliffs all the way to the water's edge, where there was a busy harbor. Many people moved about the palace and the city, and this gave her comfort and much hope for her people. Motivated by her vision, she then moved north and gathered to her all the remnants of her people that she could find. They returned and began to carry out the plans for the city. 

Within a few years the city was full wrought and many who have been now say it glitters in the sun as though it were a diamond. It became a stronghold for any who sought asylum in all of Runa. It was the most diverse city and accepted all who came in need. Because of this, Niadia became one of the heaviest fortified cities in Runa. Elves came to live there and take up the guard of the queen. In the ancient days, dwarves from the Lon Dalei helped to teach stonework to the people before their extinction. Even men came to teach warfighting and farming. It was a beacon of hope to the wandering and homeless people of Runa and so were erected two glorious lighthouses on the edges of the cliffs closest to the sea. Their light is said to shine ever outwards to light the way to their city. 

Niadia is located on the southern shores of Runa, on the eastern most side of Willowood. It was built into the cliff above a cove, which provided for natural defenses and concealment. The sheer cliff walls fall hundreds of feet into the bay below. Niadia experiences mild seasons, but the extremes are kept to spring and fall. Summer is most common as the climate is dry and arid. They never see winter along the warm southern coasts. Three rivers flow from the foundations of Niadia through the dense Willowood forest and pour into the mighty Ahura River. Ahura is the largest of the rivers in Runa, and after collecting all of the waters from the Toros and Iron Rivers it courses out of Dendrel Forest and through the Plains of Denobai, finally emptying into the western sea.